Gearing Up

There’s this thing that happens.  I’ll see or think of a project, and it’ll sit in the back of my head.  And sometimes that’s all it does, but other times this thing happens that I think of as “gearing up”.  I don’t necessarily decide that I’m going to start working on whatever-it-is now, but I’ll realize that I’m browsing around for materials, thinking about colors, deciding if I have the tools necessary, whatever.

I am in the gearing-up phase of a completely impractical, SCA-oriented project¹; I can tell because I ordered a book from Amazon yesterday on the technique I want to use, and I have been looking around at how to make a band loom with small enough dents.

I wish my subconscious wouldn’t mug me like this.  It’s not as if I have a dearth of projects that need finishing.  For one thing, I just got the party-trick socks back on the needles correctly after taking them apart to do the heels because the third time I had to rip back was just too much.

1: And heck, if I get started in the next few weeks it might actually be done by next Pennsic!

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I Am Not Embroidering This

OK, tunic body put together, sleeves not yet attached; about another hour of work to go.

I am not going to do the embroidery on this one.  It’s from the LotR-film-inspired series of patterns from a few years ago, the one that you can make Elrond‘s robe from, and it wants embroidery on the collar and front.  I’m not going to do that, because it will render the thing even less period; Liam doesn’t care, but darn it I do.  I embroidered the last one, but only under protest.

Fortunately it’s a costume pattern, and thus pretty simple.  All I have to do is put the sleeves in and attach the collar.  Set-in sleeves are slightly annoying, but pretty easy.

Have Needles, Will Travel

I’m going to be at Pennsic in about a month–otherwise known as a huge collection of people who have reason to be interested in hand needlework.  And I’d like to make some money out of my mutant power; at the moment I’m in the middle of a project for KnitPicks, but it’ll be done by the time I head for War.

So what I’m wondering is if it’s worth the money to make some business cards.  And if so, what should they say?  Professional cards–expensive, but nicer–or print my own?  And that’s not even getting into the question of what I should charge for things, assuming anyone wants to hire me.

Business is hard.  Let’s go shopping.

Weather Happens

Much as I would like to be working on garb right now, it’s too darn hot to be running a sewing machine.  I expect it’ll be cooler shortly, and then I might be willing to bust out the Singer, but for now I have pieces cut out and I’m going to call that a win.

LessthanamonthtillPennsicgah.

One always needs more garb.  Fortunately I discovered the stola last year, and as a result sewing for myself for Pennsic consists of making a tube with ribbons sewn into the shoulders¹.  But Liam wants a sorta-Chinese robe thing for cool nights, and there’s actually some tailoring involved–plus, pretty much no one makes Chinese-inspired patterns to fit a guy who’s 6’3″ with a 52-inch chest.  I have to do rather a lot of extrapolating from the pattern I do have.

That said, I’m looking forward to War this year more than I have in a while.  People to see, and all that.

1: I bought fibulae, but they have gone missing.  Having the ribbons sewn in is not terribly period, I admit, but it looks pretty good so I’m running with it.

Knitty First Fall 2011 Review

I understand what Knitty is trying to do with their new format, but seeing an issue come out a day and a half after the Summer Solstice that has the word “fall” in the title is still a little jarring.  But we work with what we’ve got, so here goes.

Creekbed by Stephen West: I am not a big fan of scarves, as a rule, because I tend to lose them (see also: hats, gloves, mittens…).  However, purely as a piece of knitting I like how this works.  And if I were in the mood to appreciate autumnal colors, I’d like those too.  Anything in fingering weight is nice.  So all told, a cute piece of work.

Dunes by Gena Wich: I don’t understand introducing your knitted piece with a paean to the fiber you spun for the yarn to knit it, but hey, perhaps I’m behind the times.  It’s a perfectly nice shawl with an interesting, not too open lace pattern.

Rhodion by Elizabeth Freeman: Wow, so, first of all huge shawl is huge.  The lace is incredibly complex and would be a heck of a challenge and a lot of fun to knit if I had any interest in having the shawl itself when I was done; perhaps what I need is to make more friends who wear such things?  If for no other reason than you have to love something that starts from a provisional CO so it can be knit from the center out for perfect mirroring, and lace and cables in the same row, sometimes even the same stitches, is too cool.

Kuusk by Ashley Knowlton: Cute, pink, and handspun.  I hate handspun in patterns, because it means I can’t have what’s in the picture if that’s what I want.  Still, nice complex lace, so it’s not exactly pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Dragon Wing by Patti Waters: I don’t know.  The shape of this thing is so weird, it will either be a smashing success that stays exactly where you put it, or it’ll fall off the instant you move, and there’s no way to tell before someone knits one.  That someone is not going to be me, however, because I just don’t like it.  I’m sure lots of people love it.

Pretty Twisted by Cat Wong: I…I’m torn.  Clever way to use up short lengths it may be, but something in me just can’t warm up to the idea of a knitted bracelet.  Perhaps if I think of them as fancy pulse warmers I’ll be able to deal.

Darrin by Laura Chau: OK, now, this is a nice basic sweater.  I’d go for longer sleeves, but then I almost always do; short sleeves tend to leave me chilly.  The color is kind of uninspiring, but that’s both easily changed and not necessarily a bad thing in a wardrobe staple.  The only thing I really don’t like is the lack of any front closure besides the belt.

Leaflet by Cecily Glowik MacDonald: Oh look, more short sleeves.  Still, a nice piece, and in this case I don’t mind the lack of front closure as much; the shaping will cause it to lie flat much better in this case.  Now, that particular shade of yellow would make me look three days dead, but if I wanted to knit it anyway I’d just pick a different color.  More short sleeves, alas, which probably means I won’t be worrying about it.

Undercurrent by Lisa Kay: Can someone explain the appeal of Noro yarns to me?  The colors aren’t enough to make up for the feel of the yarn, which is invariably icky, and I’ve never seen a colorway that didn’t have at least one truly hideous color in it somewhere.  Anyway, this is a nice basic cardigan pattern that uses a bunch of my least favorite tricks, including changing needle sizes for the ribbing.  I hate that.  Just increase stitches, for heaven’s sake.  And it’s too bad it gets all its visual interest from the color changes in the yarn, because that makes it tough to sub something for the Noro.  Ah well, the world is full of patterns.

Date Night by Nikol Lohr: I rather like the red version of this top, though I have no need whatsoever for a lacey tank.  The two-toned brown-and-black version, however, is ugly, and having it on over a black tee does not make things better.  I do like that she gives advice about what kinds of yarn to use to replicate the look if you want to sub.

Kindling by Terri Kruse: Hey, wow, a garment that’s not for adult women!  Cute as all get out, too, though I imagine a lot of people would decide the cable and leaf motif made it “too girly” for a little boy.

Next up, no fewer than six sock patterns.  Chasing Snakes, Gratitude, Lingerie and Inlay are just socks.  Double Heelix has a neat construction method, but that’s all there is to recommend it.  Bosnian is the kind of multicolored extravaganza I’d have a blast knitting, but then what would I do with the socks?

Tortora by Thelma Egberts: Cute hat.  Despite the banner picture, there’s no dark yarn at the base of the bobbles; it’s just shadows.  A neat effect, and fairly simple to knit for a lovely basic hat.

I Crocodile by Helen M Rose: Oh look, more Noro.  In this case the colors are at least nice, but I can’t imagine wanting that stuff touching the skin of my forehead.  If you can find another yarn to use, there’s no reason not to go for this hat.

Commuter by Stephanie Sun: I like the idea here, but something about these mitts looks a little off.  Perhaps it’s because they’re in reasonably heavy yarn, and it’s my thin yarn snobbery coming out.  I do like the bit that can be folded around the fingers for a little extra warmth when needed.

Morse Code by Kate Atherly: So, being the fan of steganography that I am, I really want to like the idea of a mitten with its name hidden in it.  But I cannot for the life of me figure out the encoding for the dots and dashes, so my attempt to like is foiled by frustration.  Still, nice warm mittens.

Victorian Baby Doll Ensemble, Part 1  by Franklin Habit: I am an utter geek about doll clothes, but I gotta tell you that is one unattractive baby outfit right there. Maybe it’ll look better once all the parts are done and on the doll?

Random Stuff

1. If I were making this for myself, I’d just fudge it.  Since I’m actually being paid, however, I went and bought a circular needle and will be swatching.  Again.

2. You’d think I’d learn, but no; instead I get sick from insufficient food with the pills twice in less than 16 hours.  The only good thing about it is that it’s generally over quickly, and once I’ve been sick I feel better and can eat without worry.

3. Hi, sellers on Etsy?  All those random descriptors of your piece?  Those should go in the tags, not in the name of the piece.

4. The plastic bag Boreas has been living in is starting to come apart, and I think I’m actually risking losing bits through the holes.  It was never big enough to fit the hoop in anyway.  Perhaps I have detected a use for the yard of quilting print I bought soley because I couldn’t resist it.

Frog Monster

I got just past the heel of the first of the Hwæt! socks before it occurred to me to try it on.  And lo, it was way too tight; I had to cut the contrast color in two places before it would go over my heel, and even then it wasn’t comfortable.  No way it was going to fit Liam; his feet are only slightly larger than mine, but it’s enough to make a difference in some cases.

This is entirely not the pattern’s fault, I hasten to note; it was me, forgetting that stranded color just isn’t as elastic as straight stockinette.  Oh well; it’ll give me a chance to do the fancy edge correctly this time.

Next question is, do I up the needle size or just add a few stitches at the back seam?